Congressional Hispanic Caucus Calls Florida Immigration Bill ‘Inhumane’ and ‘Outrageous’

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By Mivette Vega

March 13, 2023

Republicans filed the proposal that could be the nation’s strongest crackdown on illegal immigration.

The Florida immigration bill is part of Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republicans’ agenda to attack and vilify immigrants and Latinos, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said, calling it “inhumane” and “outrageous.” 

Sen. Blaise Ingoglia introduced Florida Senate Bill 1718, which would criminalize transporting anyone who is undocumented within the state, require hospitals to collect patient immigration status data information prior to providing care, and stop state agencies from recognizing out-of-state driver licenses that are issued to undocumented immigrants, among other orders.

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Sen. Ingoglia said the bill is a necessary response to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies and a priority for DeSantis.

However, if passed into law, it will become the nation’s strongest crackdown on illegal immigration that has ever been undertaken.

“Governor Ron DeSantis and his Republican colleagues continue to show that they are more focused on attacking and vilifying immigrants and Latinos to advance their political agenda, than on solving the real problems hurting Floridians,” the Hispanic Caucus said in a statement.

Caucus Chair Nanette Barragán and Vice Chair of Policy, Florida Congressman Darren Soto, said Congress needs to act to protect immigrants from these “harmful” laws.

“Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that modernizes border efficiency,” Barragán and Soto said in the statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida also opposed the bill because it criminalizes Floridians who shelter, support, and provide transportation to undocumented immigrants, including those who have overstayed their visas or who have lived in Florida for decades and have US-born children.

The ACLU also says it harms businesses by authorizing Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to conduct random checks of businesses to ensure compliance. The bill states that businesses that hire undocumented immigrants could face thousands of dollars in fines.

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Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-D47) said if the bill turns into law, it could have a negative impact on the state’s economy.

“If we’re going to continue to drive our economy forward, we need to have a diverse workforce and welcome immigrants, not continually demonize and in this case, completely push them out and even arrest and deport them,” Eskamani told Action News Jax.


  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.



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